2,701 research outputs found

    Mechanical properties of Al2O3 inverse opals by means of nanoindentation

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    In order to understand the mechanical behaviour of Al2O3 inverse opals, nanoindentation techniques have been implemented in material layers with three different microstructures, in terms of hollow or polystyrene spheres, with Al2O3 shells of distinct wall thickness. Different indenter tip geometries as well as contact loading conditions have been used, in order to induce different stress field and fracture events to the layers. Field emission scanning electron microscopy and focused ion beam have been employed to understand accommodation of plastic deformation induced during the indentation process. Results show that materials with polystyrene spheres exhibit higher hardness and modulus under sharp indentation, and cracking resistance under spherical indentation. Furthermore, deformation is discerned to be mainly governed by the rotation of the microspheres. In the case of the inverse opals made of hollow spheres, the main deformation mechanisms activated under indentation are the rearrangement and densification of themPostprint (author's final draft

    Harnessing poly(ionic liquid)s for sensing applications

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    The interest in poly(ionic liquid)s for sensing applications is derived from their strong interactions to a variety of analytes. By combining the desirable mechanical properties of polymers with the physical and chemical properties of ILs, new materials can be created. The tunable nature of both ionic liquids and polymers allows for incredible diversity, which is exemplified in their broad applicability. In this article we examine the new field of poly(ionic liquid) sensors by providing a detailed look at the current state-of-the-art sensing devices for solvents, gases, biomolecules, pH, and anions

    Constructing 3D crystal templates for photonic band gap materials using holographic optical tweezers

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    A simple and robust method is presented for the construction of 3-dimensional crystals from silica and polystyrene microspheres. The crystals are suitable for use as templates in the production of three-dimensional photonic band gap (PBG) materials. Manipulation of the microspheres was achieved using a dynamic holographic assembler (DHA) consisting of computer controlled holographic optical tweezers. Attachment of the microspheres was achieved by adjusting their colloidal interactions during assembly. The method is demonstrated by constructing a variety of 3-dimensional crystals using spheres ranging in size from 3 µm down to 800 nm. A major advantage of the technique is that it may be used to build structures that cannot be made using self-assembly. This is illustrated through the construction of crystals in which line defects have been deliberately included, and by building simple cubic structures

    Block copolymer self-assembly for nanophotonics

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    The ability to control and modulate the interaction of light with matter is crucial to achieve desired optical properties including reflection, transmission, and selective polarization. Photonic materials rely upon precise control over the composition and morphology to establish periodic interactions with light on the wavelength and sub-wavelength length scales. Supramolecular assembly provides a natural solution allowing the encoding of a desired 3D architecture into the chemical building blocks and assembly conditions. The compatibility with solution processing and low-overhead manufacturing is a significant advantage over more complex approaches such as lithography or colloidal assembly. Here we review recent advances on photonic architectures derived from block copolymers and highlight the influence and complexity of processing pathways. Notable examples that have emerged from this unique synthesis platform include Bragg reflectors, antireflective coatings, and chiral metamaterials. We further predict expanded photonic capabilities and limits of these approaches in light of future developments of the field

    Mesoscale design of multifunctional 3D graphene networks

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    Three-dimensional graphene networks are emerging as a new class of multifunctional constructs with a wide range of potential applications from energy storage to bioelectronics. Their multifunctional characteristics stem from the unique combination of mechanical properties, electrical conductivity, ultra-low density, and high specific surface areas which distinguish them from any polymer, ceramic or metal constructs. The most pressing challenge now is the achievement of ordered structures relying on processes that are highly controllable. Recent progresses in materials templating techniques, including the advent of three-dimensional printing, have accelerated the development of macroscopic architectures with micro-level-controlled features by rational design, with potential for manufacturing
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